AMC Studios announced today that it will open a writers’ room to explore a potential new series based on Anne Rice’s Lives of the Mayfair Witches for AMC+ and AMC. This would be the second series in an expanding Anne Rice universe, following the recent greenlight of Interview with the Vampire, which is slated for a 2022 premiere.
Esta Spaulding (Masters of Sex, On Becoming a God in Central Florida) and Michelle Ashford (Masters of Sex, The Pacific, John Adams) are both on as writers and executive producers of the series. Spaulding, who has an overall deal with AMC Studios, would serve as showrunner if the series was greenlit. The series will focus on an intuitive young neurosurgeon who discovers that she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches. As she grapples with her newfound powers, she must contend with a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations.
“We have an enormous amount of ambition for these iconic works, which have captivated and entertained millions of fans around the world, so it is gratifying to be moving so quickly from the Interview greenlight to exploring a second series with such talented and accomplished writers and creators as Esta and Michelle,” Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios, said in a statement. “We take our responsibility to deliver compelling television to both existing and new fans of this material incredibly seriously, as we move deliberately to develop these titles into a new franchise and universe for AMC+ and AMC.”
Additionally, the studio also announced the opening of writers' rooms for development of two other projects: Demascus and Invitation to a Bonfire. Both are being developed as part of AMC’s “scripts-to-series” model, which opens writers’ rooms to develop prospective series that, in success, move straight-to-series.
Demascus is a half-hour series executive-produced by Mark Johnson’s Gran Via Productions (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad) and created by accomplished writer and playwright, Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm (Boomerang). The irreverent, comedic sci-fi series, follows Demascus, a 33-year-old Black man on a mission of self-discovery and the burgeoning field of digital psychiatry that may be the key to defining his truest self. The series is a comedic genre-fluid coming-of-age story with a reality-bending premise that explores the gulf between Black male perspectives, while also attempting to answer Demascus’ personal question: “Who am I?”
“We’re thrilled to give Tearrance the opportunity to explore this visionary project and further develop Demascus’ heartfelt story in the writers’ room, and obviously our long history of successful collaborations with Mark Johnson add another layer of excitement and anticipation to this development," McDermott said.
Invitation to a Bonfire, from creator and executive producer Rachel Caris Love (Physical, Circe, Moonfall, Blindspot), is an hour-long series based on the novel of the same name by Adrienne Celt and inspired by the famed Nabokov marriage. It is a taut psychological thriller set at an all-girls boarding school in New Jersey during the 1930s. The series follows Zoya, a naïve Russian groundskeeper, who becomes obsessed with the school’s newest faculty member, an enigmatic novelist, and is drawn into a lethal love triangle with him and his bewitching wife.
“Based on an exquisitely crafted novel, we’re excited to put this gripping story of love, loss, and identity into a writers’ room,” McDermott said. “With a brilliant visionary like Rachel driving this effort, we look forward to exploring these complicated, captivating characters and seeing how a potential series takes shape.”